Also, those of us who are critical of Islam, sharia and jihad NEVER call for violence and slaughter. Imams who exhort Muslims to wage jihad and hate preachers always do — where’s the criminalization of that?
Canadian officials throughout these two articles insist that this measure will not destroy the freedom of speech, but interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose is right: “the term ‘Islamophobia’ could be used to shut down legitimate debate and ‘to intimidate rather than to inform.'” She wrote: “I do worry that some of my work trying to empower women and girls in Muslim communities could be branded as ‘Islamophobic’ if I criticize practices that I believe are oppressive.”
Of course she’s right. When I spoke out against honor killing and tried to run ads to protect and offer help to girls in Edmonton, I was denounced as “Islamophobic” and the ads were taken down. This measure will only make matters worse.
“Liberal MP won’t remove Islamophobia reference from motion condemning discrimination,” by Kathleen Harris, CBC News, February 15, 2017 (thanks to Mark):
The Liberal MP who tabled a motion that touched off a divisive debate over religious protection and free speech says she will not remove the reference to Islamophobia from the text.
Mississauga, Ont., MP Iqra Khalid, who led debate in the House of Commons tonight on M-103, said the common definition of Islamophobia is “the irrational hate of Muslims that leads to discrimination,” and that her motion must not remove the word.
“I will not do so, any more than I would speak to the Holocaust and not mention that the overwhelming majority of victims were six million followers of the Jewish faith and that anti-Semitism was the root cause of the Holocaust,” she said. “We cannot address a problem if we fail to call it by its true name.”
Opponents of M-103 have raised concerns the motion will infringe on free speech and could lead to Shariah law in Canada, but Khalid insisted there is nothing in it that would affect Canadians’ charter right to free speech.
Saskatchewan Conservative MP David Anderson has tabled a motion to counter M-103 that removes the reference to Islamophobia and instead calls on government to “condemn all forms of systemic racism, religious intolerance and discrimination of Muslims, Jews, Christians, Sikhs, Hindus, and other religious communities.”
During tonight’s debate, he argued the word “Islamophobia” is undefined in M-103, and that there is no consensus on what it means. Including the word has led to widespread confusion and fears about freedom of speech, he said.
Anderson said Conservatives proposed replacing the word with the more precise phrase “hatred against Muslims” in order to reach consensus in the House, but that suggestion was rejected.
“We’re stuck with a divisive term that means nothing, or everything, which is not clearly defined,” he said. “And it is of little value about the role of Islam in Canada.”
Earlier today, Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly said the federal government is throwing its “strong and clear support” behind Khalid’s motion.
Surrounded by more than 50 MPs in the foyer of the House of Commons, Joly said there is a need to counter all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination in Canada.
“There is no place for hatred and no tolerance of abuse,” she said.
MPs began debate on M-103, which was tabled by Khalid in December 2016 and calls on the government to “recognize the need to quell the increasing public climate of hate and fear,” shortly after 6 p.m. ET today.
M-103 has generated much controversy on social media and through online petitions, with some erroneously calling it a “law” or a “bill” rather than a non-binding motion. Some have raised concerns that it could lead Canada on a path to Shariah law.
But Khalid insisted Wednesday her motion is much broader in scope than one single religion, and said she is glad it has created much dialogue across the country….
“M-103: Liberal Government Will Support Iqra Khalid’s Motion Condemning Islamophobia,” by Ryan Maloney, Huffington Post Canada, February 15, 2017 (thanks to Mark):
Federal Liberals will support a backbencher’s motion calling on the government to condemn Islamophobia and study the best ways to quell an “increasing public climate of hate and fear.”
Motion 103, tabled by Liberal MP Iqra Khalid last December and set for debate Wednesday, has sparked divisions among Conservatives and raised the ire of those who argue its adoption could have a chilling effect on free speech.
The non-binding motion has also been the subject of rumours and innuendo from some right-wing blogs in Canada and the United States suggesting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seeking to somehow criminalize criticism of Islam.
Khalid addressed some of those concerns Wednesday at a press conference with Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly. The pair was surrounded by Liberal MPs in what Joly called a “demonstration of solidarity.”
Joly said that the government was voicing “strong and clear” support for Khalid’s motion. She later said that while all Liberal MPs will be free to vote based on their own beliefs, there will be “very strong support” from caucus.
“M-103 is about ensuring that, in Canada, we stand for free and respectful exchanges of ideas and opinions,” Joly said. “And there is no place for hatred and no tolerance of abuse.”
Khalid noted that the motion came on the heels of an e-petition tabled in the House in Commons, signed by nearly 70,000 Canadians, condemning Islamophobia.
If M-103 passes, the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage will be asked to develop a “whole of government approach” to combat systemic racism and “contextualize hate crime reports so Canadians can understand what is happening on the ground,” Khalid said.
The Mississauga MP said that while the motion makes specific mention of Islamophobia, it is “broad in scope to include all marginalized communities.”
Khalid also noted that she and other colleagues have received hateful comments over the motion in recent weeks that only highlight the work that needs to be done.
“This strengthens my resolve to continue to combat this issue,” she said.
‘This is not legislation’
Khalid denied the motion could in any way restrict the rights of Canadians to express their views on things such as sharia law or face-covering niqab veils.
“This is a motion, this is not legislation,” Khalid said. “And I would be the first person to oppose anything that infringes on our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This motion is about having a study on how we can tackle important issues like systemic racism and religious discrimination.”
But several Tory leadership hopefuls have already made it clear that they will not support M-103. Kellie Leitch tweeted last month that the motion does not treat “all religions equally” and suggested it grants “special privileges” to Islam.
In recent days, other rivals have joined Leitch in criticizing Khalid’s effort and announcing they too will not support the motion.
Andrew Scheer released a statement saying M-103 is not inclusive.
“It singles out just one faith,” Scheer said in a release. “I believe that all religions deserve the same level of respect and protection.”
Maxime Bernier suggested that while M-103 is not a bill and lacks teeth, it could be a “first step” in restricting the fundamental right of Canadians to express their opinions on a specific religion.
“We should reaffirm everyone’s right to believe in and criticize whatever belief they want, whether it is Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, atheism, or any other,” Bernier said in his release….
Interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose has also said she won’t vote for the motion. Ambrose took to Facebook to explain that while M-103 won’t bar free speech, she is concerned the term “Islamophobia” could be used to shut down legitimate debate and “to intimidate rather than to inform.”
“I do worry that some of my work trying to empower women and girls in Muslim communities could be branded as ‘Islamophobic’ if I criticize practices that I believe are oppressive,” she wrote.
Ambrose said two Tory critics tried to work with Khalid to change the language to reflect the need to fight discrimination against all religious communities, but were denied.
“This motion is simply being used by the Liberal Party and the Prime Minister to play partisan politics,” Ambrose said….
The full text of Khalid’s motion is below:
Systemic racism and religious discrimination
That, in the opinion of the House, the government should: (a) recognize the need to quell the increasing public climate of hate and fear; (b) condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination and take note of House of Commons’ petition e-411 and the issues raised by it; and (c) request that the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage undertake a study on how the government could (i) develop a whole-of-government approach to reducing or eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination including Islamophobia, in Canada, while ensuring a community-centered focus with a holistic response through evidence-based policy-making, (ii) collect data to contextualize hate crime reports and to conduct needs assessments for impacted communities, and that the Committee should present its findings and recommendations to the House no later than 240 calendar days from the adoption of this motion, provided that in its report, the Committee should make recommendations that the government may use to better reflect the enshrined rights and freedoms in the Constitution Acts, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.